Column: I need to live life more on the edge!

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Did you hear about the eight-year-old who climbed the Old Man of Hoy and raised lots of money for a cancer charity?

It was an amazing feat and all done because his mum has terminal breast cancer.

But at the same time as applauding his efforts I found myself looking at my grandson Jack who is the same age as this little lad and thinking that I would never have let him do this – however, worthy the cause was!

Okay he did have two other experienced climbers with him and lots of harnesses and ropes by the looks of the photos I saw, but climb a 450 feet tall rocky sea stack in Orkney, the very thought of it made me come over all queasy.

I can hardly stand on a step stool without feeling light-headed so the very idea of this just fills me with dread.

When I was around this boy’s age, I remember a TV programme showing experienced climbers tackling it and it was such a dangerous and tense climb that millions of people watched it.

However, my reaction to this youngster’s efforts left me pondering my own ‘chicken-hearted’ attitude towards doing anything out of my comfort zone, as well as whether nowadays we wrap our children in too much cotton wool.

All my life I’ve wished that I was one of those people who would see a challenge and, rather than first consider the hurdles, just give it a go.

I remember a couple of years ago being out with my gang of friends when one told us that for her birthday, which come to think of it was probably the reason we were out drinking fizz, she had been given a parachute jump!

My first reaction was “oh I would hate that” and yes, it was one of those occasions when I spoke before engaging brain.

However, she just laughed and said it was something she always wanted to do and was really looking forward to it.

A few months later she was able to regale us all with her adventure and I think that she has made several more jumps since then.

Likewise when Emma told me that Jack was going to some climbing arena, I nearly had a fit.

“He’s far too young to do that,” I exclaimed.

“Oh mum, it’s all properly supervised and he’ll have a harness on. It will be great.”

And yes, he too enjoyed his adventure, even if I didn’t share his excitement that he had reached the top.

But I suppose I should be grateful that at least it wasn’t some rock off Orkney!